Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13803 Gurney

Posted by scchua on September 20th, 2011


An elegant and enjoyable puzzle, with clean-cut clues, gentler than what the setter’s alter ego would have in the Indy.  Thanks Gurney.  Quite a few anagrams, but not complaining, as I like anagrams (unless they’re incredibly long).  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Hidden connections in 2 of the picture sets.


1 Make nervous starlet wild after withdrawing her leading part? (6)

RATTLEAnagram of(wild) TARLET(starlet without,after withdrawing its initial letter,her leading part)

4 MP, caustic, awkward, when there’s no time for fruit (8)

CAPSICUMAnagram of(awkward) of MP CAUSIC(“caustic” without “t”,when there’s no time)

Defn:  Fruit of the various plants of the capsicum genus, variously called chili pepper, red or green or sweet pepper, paprika, or bell pepper.  Well, some are indeed bell-shaped.


9 Control movement of bovine creature (5)

STEER :  Double defn.

10 Left-winger is embraced by stoical revolutionary (9)

SOCIALISTIS contained in(embraced by) anagram of(revolutionary) STOICAL

11 No expert, a friend you’re texting (7)

AMATEURA MATE(friend) [U R](abbrev. for you are,you’re in texting jargon)

12 Sated, regularly missing Blue Peter unfortunately (7)

REPLETEAnagram of(unfortunately) [LE(“blueminus,missing “b,u” its first and third letters,regularly) plus PETER]

Defn:  Stuffed or gorged or full,sated with food and drink

13 Jack, for one, is an amusing character (4)

CARD :  Double defn:  1st: One of four Jacks in a deck of playing cards

14 Editor, full of interest in Paraguay’s teaching theory (8)

PEDAGOGY :  ED(editor) AGOG(full of interest) contained in(in) PY(ISO code for Paraguay)

Defn:  The principles,theory of teaching – both art and science?

17 Extremely staunch worker with international body, good material (8)

SHANTUNG :  SH(first and last letters,extremely of “staunch“) ANT(worker) UN(United Nations,international body) G(good)

Defn:  Originally, a coarse (having a knobbly surface) fabric,material woven from raw silk, made in Shantung (Shandong) province in North East China.  Nowadays, it also means a cotton or rayon fabric imitating it.

19 Rooms lacking sparkle (4)

FLAT :  Double defn:  1st: An apartment of rooms; and 2nd: Descriptive of a fizzy drink gone flat,lacking sparkle)

22 Very old tin can last to be kicked around (7)

ANCIENTAnagram of(kicked around) [TIN CAN E(last letter of “be”)]

24 Fight cut short at party next to Irish lady’s place (7)

BOUDOIR :  BOU(“bout”,fight without its last letter,cut short) DO(party,bash) plus(next to) IR(Irish)

Defn:  A dedicated room,place in a residence set aside for a lady to do, well, lady’s things.  A concept which most of us can ill-afford in today’s residences.

25 New tot, weeny, playing game (6-3)

TWENTY-ONEAnagram of(playing) N(new) TOT WEENY

Defn:  Aka vingt-et-un or blackjack

      Pontoon bridge built across the Neckar River at Heidelberg, Germany 

26 Some of convent rite lacking originality (5)

TRITEHidden in(some of) convenT RITE

27 Various hearers start to protest, express in another way (8)

REPHRASEAnagram of(various) [HEARERS plus P(initial letter of,start toprotest”)]

28 It helps to make 25 foul, we hear, after intensive publicity’s curtailed? (6)

HYPHEN :  HEN{fowl,homophone(we hear) of “foul”} placed after(after) HYP(hype,intensive publicity without its last letter,curtailed)

Defn:  Answer to 25 across would “twentyone” or “twenty one” without it, so it does help.


1 Study reconstructed cars here (8)

RESEARCHAnagram of(reconstructed) CARS HERE

2 House he’s included in reference work (9)

THESAURUSHE’S contained in(included in) TAURUS(in astrology, one of the 12 houses,divisions of the zodiac)

Defn:  A reference work that is very useful to cryptic crossword solvers.

3 Bird with tail hidden seen above the German store (6)

LARDER :  LAR(a bird,“lark” without its last letter,with tail hidden) placed before(seen above, in a down clue) DER(German for “the”)

5 Near Baltic Sea change can be found (for sure) (13)


Defn:  Descriptive of something which definitely can be found, and which can be determined,found definitely,with certainty,for sure

6 Bogus, that’s disgusting, clean-up needed! (7)

SHAMPOO :  SHAM(bogus) POO(that’s disgusting stuff!)

7 The country’s cold, they say (5)

CHILEHomophone of(they say) “chilly”,cold.  Could also have been clued “hot” or “chili”, cf 4A.

8 Contest in water off France is something I’m good at (6)

METIER :  TIE(contest,match) contained in(in) MER(the word for sea,water, off France,in the French language)

Defn:  A field of work which is my forte,something I’m good at

10 Clandestine trip suits roué on the move (13)


15 Cry over desire to be somewhat lacking in courage? (9)

YELLOWISH :  YELL(loud cry) O(over, as in cricket) WISH(desire,want)

Defn:  Whimsy,?, putting the suffix -ish,somewhat,rather to yellow, a colour associated with cowardice,lacking in courage.  Apparently the origin of the colour association is unknown, though it could be from sickliness and the consequent lack of force and vigour.


16 Fish from Thailand doctor’s seen eating (8)

STURGEON :  SURGEON(doctor who cuts up) containing(seen eating) T(Internation Vehicle Registration code for Thailand)

18 One helping criminal improved after article’s appearance (7)

ABETTER :  BETTER(improved) placed after(after…’s appearance) A(the indefinite article)

Defn:  As in “aiding and abetting”, making the helper a criminal himself/herself.

20 Taking paper in to read upside down? More foolish! (6)

DAFTERReversal of(upside down, in a down clue) READ containing(taking…in) FT(Financial Times,this paper)

21 Girl’s greeting abrupt and outwardly surly (6)

CURTSY :  CURT(abrupt,terse) plus(and) SY(outermost letters,outwardly of “surly”)

Defn:  Also spelled curtsey, a variant of courtesy.  Interestingly, it did not start as being an exclusively feminine,girl’s greeting

23 Man inhales drug of poor quality (5)

CHEAP :  CHAP(man) containing(inhales) E(abbrev. for the drug, Ecstasy)


5 Responses to “Financial Times 13803 Gurney”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Gurney for a pleasant crossword and scchua for the blog.

    The answer at 17ac was a new word to me, but easily constructed from the clue, so no complaints there.

    It is interesting to compare the three double definitions. The one at 9ac is the most satsifying kind, where two completely different words have converged in their spelling. In each of the other two, the two meanings are given under the same headword in my 1998 Chambers, which is the edition I have to hand in my lunch break at work. However, the meanings have diverged sufficiently that I regard both these clues as fully acceptable.

    The one clue which I think needs rewriting is 26ac. To me, it is unsatisfactory if a hidden answer finishes at the end of a word in the clue (or begins at the start of a word). Here this could be easily remedied by writing the clue as “Some convent rites lacking originality”.

    I think I have solved one of your picture sets at 25ac, which uses another name for the card game vingt-et-un.

  2. scchua says:

    Hi Pelham, yes! I believe you’ve got the 25A connections, at least for the first 2 pix, and probably for the 3rd one as well?

  3. Wanderer says:

    Thanks scchua for your characteristically thorough blog and to Gurney for an enjoyable and satisfying puzzle which I found at the easier end of the FT scale.

    On the pictures: 25a, I too think the first is another name for the card game vingt-et-un; the second is the structure by the same name; and the third is an example of a structure in France whose name is the first four letters of the first two pictures. (I presume that picture 3 lent its name to picture 2.)

    The second set defeats me. I’m pretty sure it’s colour-related, with “greenback”, a yellow daffodil, and (I think) the second picture in the bottom row shows a “thin red line”. Beyond that I’m lost. Your bonus quiz definitely adds to the fun of the puzzle.

  4. scchua says:

    Hi Wanderer, you’re right on 25A’s first 2 pix. Unfortunately you’re not there with the third, yet? It’s not France, but somewhere further and yet nearer too. Re 15D the first 3 has to do with colours, and that’s more like 4 than 1 line in the fifth pic. That, with the scenery, and the 3rd and last picture might give you a clue as to what the last 3 pix are about. :-)

    I’ll try to be back later tonight with the expose.

  5. scchua says:

    Hi again Pelham and Wanderer.
    25A: As you say, the card game is also called “pontoon”, and a bridge supported by pontoons is called, well, a pontoon bridge, used mainly by the military. The 3rd pic was of the London Bridge that was sold to an American and reconstructed over an Arizonan lake. There have been a sucession of London Bridges built more or less on the original site, the first of which was by the Romans (when London was Londinium) and it was a pontoon bridge (so they say).

    15D: “Green” is American slang (and colour) for money. It also connotes envy (“green with …). “Yellow”, the colour exemplified by the daffodil, is also an adjective for being jealous or envious. It stands for cowardice too, as does “white”, the (non-)colour exemplified by the lily, as in “lily-livered” and “to show the white feather”. The Four Feathers is a tale of cowardice and heroism by Alfred Mason, English writer, soldier and politician, which had various film versions made. The 4th pic is from the 1939 version, and the 5th showing the infantry square formation is from the 2002 (revisionist) version, starring the late Aussie actor, Heath Ledger in the last picture.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

two + = 7